Tagbilaran City, Monday, 30 June 2008 02:52:10
The fate of commercial passenger ship, MV Princess of the Stars, is the latest in the list of Sulpicio Line's maritime incidents.
In the eighties, two other passenger ships owned by Sulpico Lines, carrying a combined 2,100 passengers and crew, perished during their sea voyage.
In December 20, 1987, MV Doña Paz sank after colliding with the small oil tanker, Vector. The passenger ferry was en route from Catbalogan, Samar to Manila. The worst marine mishap in recent Philippine history is M/V Doña Paz vs. MT Vector collision on December 20, 1987. The incident occurred at the Tablas Strait between Marinduque and Mindoro.
The official death toll is pegged at 1,856 people, although there have been news reports citing as many as 4,000 killed. The official death toll for this one incident alone makes up more than half of the total number of persons killed in all the major marine mishaps. The International Maritime Organization also calls this the "world’s greatest maritime tragedy." Binura nito ang record ng Titanic, touted as the safest ship ever built in 1912 which had 1,522 passengers were lost and 705 survivors.
My work has given me the opportunity to meet famous personalities, and I thought it would be interesting to ask some of our paisanos about the famous people they’ve met and/or encountered.
As for me, it’s really hard to say who among the famous people I’ve met have made the biggest impact on my life.
I do remember, however, that back in 1993 (I was cute and bubbly in my elementary), I met the philanthropist couple Dan and Nancy Harrington of the Books for the Barrios Inc., a non-profit organization in Walnut Creek, California. They were honored by then Pres. Fidel V. Ramos of their heroic deeds of giving free educational materials to the schools in the barrios. They’re adopting schools for their Model of Excellence Schools program, the first of its kind in the country. Dan and Nancy are helping children in the barrios rise from poverty one page at a time. I was then a grade six pupil that the Cable Network News (CNN) interviewed me about the couple’s benevolent work in the Philippines.
There is Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo I met when she was a senator who came to our school for her Books for the Barangay Foundation.
From then on, I’d met politicians, luminaries, artists, celebrities, stars, witches, prostitutes, partyphiles, wannabees, trying-hard who’s who, beauty queens, elite, who’s who, etc--- each has a story to tell. They are giving shades in my colorful world.
Meanwhile, here are the people who answered my post at popular website www.tubagbohol.com who is the famous person they’ve met.
Who's the most famous person I've ever met? hmmmmmmm... Most definitely Lea Salonga...
I wouldn't exactly say she's very fan-accommodating but she is, nonetheless, a wonderful person in all aspects of her personality.
Yes, I've met other personalities whom common people would consider famous.
[Some to the point of worshiping them; others to the extent of committing suicide just to get a glimpse of them from a hundred feet away or risking getting branded "serial killer" just to get a photograph of themselves taken beside the supposed celebrity (however hideous it may turn out to be). You can't blame them for that. They grew up with a very poor sense of discriminating judgment.]
Anyway, back to the topic. Those other such personalities I've met, who may forcibly fall under the "famous people" category due to public regard, are ones whom I have little to no regard of beyond "regular people from around the corner".
So much for this... Lea Salonga is just so totally awesome! ~(grammar fluctuation intended)
HR Consultant, Saudi Arabia
I was torn between two great personalities when asked with this question; for one cannot ignore to take into account the encounters that helped shape my personal outlook and reflect on their values that also represent my advocacies… they’re great men worthy to be emulated.
Almost a year ago, I was privileged to meet and serve one of Asia’s top banking leaders, the Honorable Aurelio R. Montinola III, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President of the Bank of the Philippine Islands and its subsidiaries during his short visit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
What a coincidence when my boss who’s the uncle of the Head of an oil and gas company referred my name to be the host’s representative in attending to the BPI delegation’s needs during the visit ( acting as Executive Assistant ); and this came to me with delight as the bank where I used to work for more than a decade happens to be one of their correspondent banks in the Kingdom where am also enjoying friendships with some of the two banks’ officers and staff.
The encounter with a respectable person who is a product of the Harvard Business School and who manages & controls various institutions across diverse industries namely: banking, academe, water utility, real estate, remittance, etc. came to me as a blessing. Why? As I was due then to leave early at that time to attend some personal engagements in the Philippines, this was delayed solely for the request of the host where I worked as a part-time Consultant to give the visit as a priority.
The 5-day stint with him gave me the opportunity to know him more; deducing an admiration that this man is so adoring with his coolness, sense of humility (down-to-earth / full of compassion ) despite his being on the top. I was so touched with his gentle disposition in everything he does; be it personal, family and business – whom he attended them with ease irrespective of the gravity of demands. His character and ways are infectious.
At the end of his trip, I just couldn’t help but surmised that the simple yet adorable BPI’s CEO epitomizes the successful individual, the role model that fully represents the advocacy on Total Performance Scorecard (TPS), the world famous book by Dr. Hubert Rampersad which was translated into more than 20 languages.
Two years ago, I’ve met the respected business management guru, Dr. Hubert Rampersad, the author of the book and President of TPS - Lean Six Sigma LLC. He is one of the most interesting people I have ever met during my career days when he came to Saudi Arabia as a resource speaker on a seminar intended for Company CEOs and Human Resources Specialists. His interests range from corporate quality to individual happiness as manifested in the Personal Balanced Scorecard - The Way To Individual Happiness, Personal Integrity and Organizational Effectiveness.
The TPS lead to career and personal lifestyle choices, continuous personal development, effective use of one’s talents, self-learning, continued taking-up of challenges, greater awareness of one’s responsibilities and development of one’s creativity. All these create for sustainable career and talent development.
As an HR Consultant, this had enhanced my competencies on effective approaches towards performance management, talent management and quality management. His concept that presses on Values, Self-Awareness that demystify the methods of discovering oneself enables organizations and individuals to work together for common benefits.
It is when I met them years back that I started to re-align my own perspectives of existence for I was touched with their methods for creating balance, harmony, peace and love in their own lives – of which should start from our inner self.
The encounters certainly gave me a variety of different perspectives of life and career, a balancing act of life.
Fashionista and party animal
I have met so many famous people and the one that struck me the most is Marco Sison, of course, not only we have the same passion in singing, we are from Bohol too. I met Marco Sison in Manila way back late 1990's and since then we became very close friends and every time he's here in L.A. he definitely sends a text to let me know of his future concert dates and of course, the no. fan Mikey goes and watch the show, I am very close to his family especially wife Jojo.
As of press time, Mikey is part of Pacman’s entourage in his bout against Mexican David Diaz in a fight in Las Vegas today.
Pennsylvania, United States of America
Most famous individuals I've met?
This past May, I met former President Bill Clinton when he visited Allegheny College, I visited the Foreign Minister of Norway in my summer semester study in Kiev Mohyla Academy of Law in June 2006 in the Democratic Republic of The Ukraine. I met the President of Ukraine--leader of the Orange Revolution. Back in 2004, I also met Vice President Dick Chenney when he visited Allegheny College. Another famous individual was meeting and getting to know His Eminence Bishop Donald Trautman of the Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania. I met him in a catholic collegiate conference in Gannon University; where I told him I was reviewing for my MCATs for Medical School. His Eminence prayed for me, touching my head with his hands and giving me his blessings. It was such a great honor for me to know him, and have him call me by my first name. A Sheppard of the Catholic Church called be by name. I will always remember him.
The most prestigious man that I met in my life would have to be Dr. Dioscoro Villanueva, M.D. I met him when I rotated with him; he is the leading Cardiothoracic Surgeon in the entire Southern New Jersey and New Jersey. He is a Great man yet so humble in his voice and in his mannerisms. He does not show off his greatness, but talks as if he was an 'every-day' individual. A great surgeon, A great physician, and one of my idols. I want to be just like him, God Willing, someday.
He is an inspiration to all Filipino Medical Students and those aspiring to become a Physician-Surgeon.
I shook hands with: - Fidel Ramos (twice) - Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (thrice), Senate President Manny Villar (once in Davao City). I once acted as tour guide for Liza Macuja (the ballerina) and her sister Gia (the soprano). I once said a word of comfort to Cesar Montano after the 2007 elections. There were still a few other famous persons but revealing who they are would be revealing who I am.
I met Gloria Arroyo every week in my Macroeconomics 101 class at ADMU when she was still a professor. Naay gamay nga istorya nga nahinumduman ko niya, which was when I was absent twice and another lady was absent by happenstance both times. During our next class, she asked both of us, to our confusion, "How was your date?" Lain baya to akong ka-date adto...
I was on the same Tagbilaran-bound plane once when she was still a senator. I met her two times in Tokyo during her state visits. One time, during the acknowledgment part of her speech at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel in Tokyo, she called my name and mentioned I was her student. Wa pa gyud ko kadungog, gikuhit lang ko sa akong tupad. She acknowledges me here in this photo.
I also met her predecessors Fidel V. Ramos and Joseph Estrada in Tokyo. In this photo during Erap's visit to Tokyo, he still enjoyed a honeymoon with the media, who found his every faux pas very endearingly makamasa. When Loi Estrada suggested lowering the age limit for more entertainers to be able to come to Japan, eyebrows were raised but comments where made hush-hush. Five years later and when Erap was already under house arrest, entertainers were almost completely banned from Japan.
I've met Sen. Aquilino Pimentel on several occasions since he was still a mayor in CDO. I have interviewed Senators Manny Villar, Mar Roxas and Juan Flavier. I have talked with Franklin Drilon.
In the giddy days of Japan's bubble economy, movie stars were dime a dozen in Tokyo. Some of them have even performed at my place, which has a small open space. There was some fuss when Claudine Barretto's manager booked her at the same time at my place and at another at the far end of Japan. I was fuming mad because people were already expecting her. She apologized to me and made up for it by making a free appearance the next day, collecting only tips clipped in chopsticks from the audience. Despite the uproar that she caused because of her messed-up schedule, she more than made up for it by her sweetness and kindness.
I interviewed Kuh Ledesma when she was invited to Tokyo by NHK in a special Earth Day program. She engaged me in a heavy discussion about the US bases, which were then in the process of pulling out of the country. She had perhaps read my column in the paper given to her earlier, and presumed I was not interested in showbiz buzz.
Joyce Jimenez sat next to me, in total silence, at my cramped office as she waited for her number to be called outside. When my daughter came in, ice was broken. Although better known as pantasya ng bayan, she was very shy and almost lacking in confidence. I could sense the pressure on her from trying to live up to such a moniker, especially since there were many Filipina entertainers more voluptuous than her in the audience.
Maria Isabel Lopez used to engage in garments business with my wife Lynne. They staged fashion shows together but for one reason or another, she decided to return to the Philippines with her family and started a lucrative resort business catering to the Japanese.
Priscilla Almeda was the original sex siren of Philippine cinema. She was certainly a goddess to behold when she came here with Matt Ranillo some ten years ago. But when I last interviewed her about two years ago, she has settled for an obscure life and a domestic look.
Ariel Rivera, even in the heyday of his fame, struck me as someone not really self-absorbed. He is more impressive in person.
Sam Milby was mobbed when he and Piolo Pascual as well as the Pinoy Dream Academy winners came to Tokyo to launch ABS-CBN's IPTV service TFCko. But at the small victory party to which I was invited afterwards, I saw Sam at one point standing in one corner awkwardly waiting for someone to talk with. A very painfully shy guy, he was only too happy to excuse himself after the obligatory kodakan and slipped unnoticed outside Roppongi's sleepless streets.
By the way, Tokyo used to be a favorite destination of movie stars who wanted to make quick bucks, especially when their stars were already waning back home. Among those who slipped in and out almost unnoticed were Michael V, Ruffa G before Ylmaz, Osang, Julio Diaz...
Meeting the big shots is just one of the perks of working in the media. Now I live a more laid-back life far from the social whirl, since I've decided on a saner livelihood that's mainly office-based.
Those days were a great eye-opener, though. None of that fame is permanent. I've seen Erap rise and fall. I've watched Priscilla Almeda sizzle on the celluloid screen, and fizzle as an ordinary waitress mopping the floor. Some of them have been able to float mid-air until now, but I'm surprised that the more fame they have, the greater their fear that it's going to slip under them anytime.
Some have become friends, because I always touch base with what is common between us. And that is not fame, but perhaps fear. I believe that a normal level of fear is healthy for our reality check. Jobelle Salvador still calls me up occasionally. She keeps thanking me for the "best interview" written on her in her entire showbiz career (I'm just quoting her). Priscilla also called me up, surprisingly to thank me as well. They seem to have more security on the ground than airborne ...
Si Teban ug Golyat ra gyud intawon akong na meet nga mga famous people. Haaayyy, they stayed at our house for a few days samtang nag drama drama sila sa Milyonaryong Mini during our town fiesta.
I met Pope John Paul twice in Manila. Sa UST nga few feet lang away sa iya bullet proof na gisakyan ug didto sa Luneta nag vigil mi overnight. Wala nako siya maesturya but his presence was very Holy ug ambot ngano nakaluha jud ko ug dili lang ako tanan nga naa didto nga duol niya.
Arnold Schwarzenegger - my coworkers and I were having lunch at Lucca Restaurant here in Sacramento and pretty soon we saw 3 huge black SUVs parked in front and there Arnold showed up and passed our table going at the secret back table covered with plants. Kay diay regular siya didto magkaon ug lunch. Only 2 guys went with him but lots of bodyguards waiting outside.
I met Corazon Aquino and Kris Aquino in the mid 90's in one or 2 of the EDSA People Power Anniversaries. I was close enough to see them clearly in the stage sa EDSA Shrine.
Since its June 25 arrival in the Sulu Sea, the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier group has supported Philippine disaster relief efforts in the aftermath of Typhoon Frank (Fengshen). In direct coordination with Philippine and provincial government officials, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) and the Philippine National Red Cross, U.S. military personnel are supporting immediate rescue, recovery, and disaster relief efforts being carried out by Philippine authorities.
Said U.S. Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney, “As President Bush said, friends help friends in a time of need and because of the strength of our friendship and partnership, U.S. and Philippine officials on the ground in Iloilo City were able to quickly mobilize a joint disaster relief effort.”
Seven U.S. Navy Seahawk helicopters from USS Ronald Reagan, USS Howard and USS Thach have been working around the clock in partnership with the AFP, the NDCC and provincial government leaders to transport and deliver potable water and food supplies to the hardest hit areas in the Visayan region including the provinces of Iloilo, Aklan, and Antique on Panay Island and the North and South Gigante Islands. Over 28,000 bottles of water, 10,000 pounds of rice, and many other non-perishable food items have been delivered with operations continuing in the coming days. Also, U.S. military engineering teams are working with their Philippine counterparts to restore electrical power in particular at major hospitals in the Iloilo region.
In addition to the PhP 4 million ($100,000) worth of essential relief goods donated through the Philippine National Red Cross, the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is sending a chartered aircraft to arrive June 29 with relief supplies, worth PhP 28.6 million ($650,000), sufficient for 20,000 beneficiaries.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit www.bohol.ph.
Leo P. Udtohan